When the Alarm went off at 6:00AM last Monday, I woke up to the realization that I hadn’t bought a 2012 fishing license and went back to bed. I remember forgetting to buy a license and getting a ticket while trout fishing on Putah Creek 35 years ago on January 2nd. It cost me $500 bucks – there is no mercy in Winters California for a poor college student. I figured that if the DFG wanted to really make some money, they would check everyone on January 2nd. Last Monday afternoon, I bought my first fishing license online. How cool. Printed it out on the printer and I was instantly legal.
It was a beautiful day today with the highs in the mid 60’s and no wind. There was some “smoke on the water” from a nearby grass fire. So much for “save the air” days. The solonar table indicated a major period from 9am-12pm and last night was a full moon. The lake was FULL and the water temp was 53. Only 6 boats launched all day from Basalt. I heard from a friend that the weekend was very crowded, at least from shore. Good thing there is 65 miles of shoreline! I was optimistic this morning, to say the least, after reading reports on Dan Blanton’s Forums indicating that the fishing was pretty good two weeks ago. Today I was going to troll flies till I hooked up and then back up and cover cast the entire area–if I didn’t catch anything on flies, I was planning to try out this umbrella lure that Dan Dee gave me for Christmas on the downrigger about 50 feet deep. Its a jig with three wires spread out like an umbrella with flukes on each of the three hooks. The morning started off slow. From 7am to 9am, I landed 5 fish all around 20 inches. At 9, I was casting to my favorite bank where I metered lots of fish, but the fish were not on the grab despite the solonar prediction. The water was so clear and still that I actually witnessed fish following the fly several times and they didn’t seem that interestead. I tried a couple different colors,sizes and lighter leaders with no radical change in luck. I only landed a handful of fish casting, got bored and trolled up another 4 fish with flies. After working the coves west of basalt all the way to Lone Oak Bay, I decided to quit early and troll a downrigger all the way back really deep (50 feet) . Not a touch.
I did get a chance to play with the GOPRO2 that I got for Christmas as well as shoot some underwater footage. There is no doubt that the GOPRO Hero II is clearer than the earilier model. The new model has better glass lenses.
At the take out, I talked to 5 guys from Los Banos in a beat up boat about there luck. They told me in broken english that they fish for food and that they fish the lake almost daily. They looked like farm workers and they were using what looked like Surf Rods, and 3 ounce sinkers from their boat. They showed me 6 large (5-8) lb stipers that they caught still fishing with anchovies from the boat. One of them explained that they just cast out on the bottom and wait about 10 minutes. He also mentioned that they caught a dozen that way the day before. Go figure.
The new year feels different on San Luis than it has in the past. With all the restrictions and inspections, I feel like the goverment is trying to ruin the last good thing by over regulating it. I don’t see the logic to inspecting watercraft in an open system like Calero Reservoir or San Luis Reservoir. The water comes into the system from unregulated waterways and people can enter the lake without inspection from the parking lots along the highway with float tubes, bait buckets and what not. Plus, what is the logic in keeping boats 500 feet from the dams? Are they thinking terrorism? Why not inspect the fricken boats for explosives while you are looking for Quanga–oops, too easy. Do you really think someone would sneak explosives into the lake in broad daylight past the ranger station and try to detinate against the dam in broad daylight–you would think that history would prove how ridiculous that would be.